It has already been widely reported that Ridley Scott is planning more Alien films after Alien: Covenant, but knowing Ridley Scott, this could take quite some time to complete. Rumor has it that Scott would like to connect the dots back to the original Alien film released in 1979, much like Rogue One did with A New Hope. While the idea sounds great, it does raise the question: how do you reintroduce Sigourney Weaver as Ridley? Sigourney Weaver is 67 years old right now and she was 30 years old during the original Alien film. Could digital de-aging Sigourney Weaver be the answer?
The latest issue of Empire Magazine (via AvPGalaxy) features new intel from the upcoming Alien: Covenant, set to be released on May 19th, 2017 in the United States. In addition to information about additional Alien films, the article also sheds some light on the idea of using de-aging technology. Ridley Scott says he's planning at least two more Alien movies in his personal series of films tied to the classic franchise. And these will both happen before the events of the original 1979 Alien. Work has already begun on a sequel to Alien: Covenant. He explains.
"Right now we've got a ten-page synopsis. John Logan's doing it. And we know where we're going with it."
One thing Ridley Scott isn't ruling out is the introduction of a digitally de-aged Sigourney Weaver, bringing in a younger version of Ripley using new CGI technology. He quite simply states this.
"You could do that."
Screenwriter John Logan went onto promise "different mutations" of the Alien Xenomorph that will be introduced in the incoming sequels, using CGI to create a 'younger' version of the main monster, as it were. The idea of digital de-aging is not a new trick in Hollywood. The digital de-aging technique has recently been used for Michael Douglas as Hank Pym in Ant Man and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa and Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to great effect. The technology and the artists utilizing the new tools just keep getting better and better with more experience from every film being made, pushing the envelope of digital de-aging.
The Alien franchise catapulted Sigourney Weaver's portrayal of Ellen Ripley into cinematic icon status. Casting a female as the lead protagonist of a science fiction movie was unheard of in 1979 and the decision blazed the trails for Sarah Connor, Lara Croft, Alice, and many more with more to come. There is no doubt that fans of the Alien franchise would love to see Sigourney Weaver portray the influential Ripley in any way possible.
An Alien: Covenant sequel is already being written ahead of the May 19th release date with the assumption that Alien: Covenant will be big enough at the box office to warrant a sequel and any other future Alien films. Alien: Covenant itself is a sequel to 2012's Prometheus, which put Scott back at the helm of the Alien franchise for the first time since 1979. Prometheus was applauded for its incredible visual effects as well as acting and was considered to be a financial success overseas, but apparently did not meet the studio's expectations in North America.